Reflection – “He thought he was as sure of the blessing as if he had not sold the birthright.”
And then, when all is done and over and their souls sold to Satan, they never seem to understand that they have parted with their birthright. They think that they stand just where they did, before they followed the world, the flesh, and the devil; they take for granted that when they choose to become more decent, or more religious, they have all their privileges just as before. Like Samson, they propose to go out as at other times before, and shake themselves. And like Esau, instead of repenting for the loss of the birthright, they come, as a matter of course, for the blessing. Esau went out to hunt for venison gaily and promptly brought it to his father. His spirits were high, his voice was cheerful. It did not strike him that God was angry with him for what had past years ago. He thought he was as sure of the blessing as if he had not sold the birthright. (Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman)
Lenten Preparation Novena
Today Lord I choose life,
I choose Your love and the challenge to live it and share it,
I choose hope, even in moments of darkness,
I choose faith, accepting You as Lord and God,
I choose to let go of some part of my burdens, day by day handing them over to You,
I choose to take hold of Your strength and power ever more deeply in my life.
I choose repentance and reparation and suffering, for all my sins
and those of all the world.
Forgive me my Lord!
May this truly be for me a time of new life, of change, challenge and growth.
May I come to Easter with a heart open to dying with You
and rising to Your new life, day by day. Help me to repent of my sins now and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)
HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.
For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses. (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).
THE THIRD MEANS: SUFFERING
The Third Means of avoiding Purgatory is very easy. It consists in making a
virtue of necessity, by bearing patiently what we cannot avoid and all the
more since suffering, borne patiently, becomes easy and light. Suffering,
if accepted with calmness and for God’s sake, loses all its sting. If
received badly, in the spirit of revolt and with repugnance, it is
intensified a hundredfold and becomes almost intolerable.
Everyone in this vale of tears has to face sorrows innumerable and infinite
in variety. Crosses light and crosses heavy are the lot of us all. Strange
as it may seem, these sorrows, which most of us would gladly dispense with,
are in truth God’s greatest graces. They are the little share He offers us
of His Passion and which He asks us to bear for love of Him and as penance
for our sins.
Borne in this spirit they will lessen considerably our time in Purgatory
and very possibly completely remove it–with this difference, that
Purgatory, even a Purgatory of 50 or 100 years, will in no wise increase
our merits in Heaven; whereas, every pain and sorrow and disappointment in
this life will lessen our suffering in Purgatory and also bring us more
happiness and glory in Heaven.
How sad it is that so many Christians, for want of thought, make their
sufferings a thousand times worse than they are and lose all the immense
merits that they could so easily gain.
Let us suffer with calmness and serenity for the love of God. We shall thus
save ourselves from Purgatory.
Thought for the Day – 22 February
From the beginning, the specialness, or primacy, of Peter has been recognized. On the feast of the Chair of Peter, we celebrate our unity as a Church. We celebrate the love, presence and protection of Christ for us, the Church. The title Chair of Peter refers to the chair from which a bishop presided, a symbol of his authority. When the title refers to Saint Peter, it recalls the supreme teaching power of Peter and his successors. Its first occupant stumbled a bit some of its later occupants have also stumbled a bit, sometimes even failed scandalously. As individuals, we may sometimes think a particular pope has let us down. Still, the office endures as a sign of the long tradition we cherish and as a focus for the universal Church. It is from the chair, from the pastoral power given him, that the pope shepherds Christ’s flock. When the pope cautions world leaders, pleads for peace, or condemns social injustice, people listen and respond. What makes the world listen to this man? The answer lies in Scripture and in Tradition. Peter is named first among the apostles of Jesus; he was often their spokesman and leader; he was the first to preach after Pentecost and he was the leader in defending Christ and his message AND THE OCCUPANT OF THE CHAIR STILL IS!
Holy Father St Peter and all the Saints and Popes in Heaven, Pray for us!
Quote of the Day – 22 February
“He who deserts the chair of Peter,
upon whom the Church was founded,
does he trust himself to be in the Church?”
~~~~~ Saint Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage and Martyr
De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate, 251
One Minute Reflection – 22 February
“On this rock I will build my Church’,,,,,,,,,,Matthew 16:18
REFLECTION – “How blessed is the Church of Rome, on which the Apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood!” (De Praescriptione Hereticorum, 36)…….Tertullian
“I decided to consult the Chair of Peter,
where that faith is found exalted by
the lips of an Apostle;
I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there,
where once I received the garment of Christ.
I follow no leader save Christ,
so I enter into communion with Your beatitude,
that is, with the Chair of Peter,
for this I know is the rock upon which the Church is built”
(cf. Le lettere I, 15, 1-2)…………..St Jerome
PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 22 February
Show me, O Lord, Your mercy
and delight my heart with it.
Let me find You whom I so longingly seek.
Behold, here is the man whom the robbers seized,
manhandled, and left half dead on the road to Jericho.
Kind-hearted Samaritan, come to my aid!
I am the sheep who wandered into the wilderness.
Seek after me and bring me home again to Your fold.
Do with me according to Your Will,
that I may abide with You all the days of my life
and praise You with all those who are with You
in heaven for all eternity. Amen
By St Jerome
Feast of the Chair of St Peter – 22 February – Cathedra Petri), also known as the Throne of Saint Peter, is a relic conserved in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The relic is a wooden throne that tradition claims the Apostle Saint Peter, the leader of the Early Christians in Rome and first Pope, used as Bishop of Rome. The relic is enclosed in a sculpted gilt bronze casing designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and executed between 1647 and 1653. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI described the chair as “a symbol of the special mission of Peter and his Successors to tend Christ’s flock, keeping it united in faith and in charity.”
The wooden throne was a gift from Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald to Pope John VIII in 875. It has been studied many times over the years, the last being from 1968 to 1974, when it was last removed from the Bernini altar. That study concluded that it was not a double, but rather a single, chair with a covering and that no part of the chair dated earlier than the sixth century. Below – The Pope’s throne in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, last publicly exposed in 1867.
The Chair is the cathedra of St. Peter’s Basilica. Cathedra is Latin for “chair” or “throne”, and denominates the chair or seat of a bishop, hence “cathedral” denominates the Bishop’s church in an episcopal see. The Popes formerly used the Chair. It is distinct from the Papal Cathedra in St. John Lateran Archbasilica, also in Rome, which is the actual cathedral church of the Pope, because the Cathedra he currently and officially sits upon is in its apse.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today, the Latin-rite liturgy celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St Peter. This is a very ancient tradition, proven to have existed in Rome since the fourth century. On it we give thanks to God for the mission he entrusted to the Apostle Peter and his Successors.
“Cathedra” literally means the established seat of the Bishop, placed in the mother church of a diocese which for this reason is known as a “cathedral”; it is the symbol of the Bishop’s authority and in particular, of his “magisterium”, that is, the evangelical teaching which, as a successor of the Apostles, he is called to safeguard and to transmit to the Christian Community.
When a Bishop takes possession of the particular Church that has been entrusted to him, wearing his mitre and holding the pastoral staff, he sits on the cathedra. From this seat, as teacher and pastor, he will guide the journey of the faithful in faith, hope and charity.
So what was the “Chair” of St Peter? Chosen by Christ as the “rock” on which to build the Church (cf. Mt 16: 18), he began his ministry in Jerusalem, after the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost. The Church’s first “seat” was the Upper Room, and it is likely that a special place was reserved for Simon Peter in that room where Mary, Mother of Jesus, also prayed with the disciples. Therefore, we have the journey from Jerusalem, the newly born Church, to Antioch, the first centre of the Church formed from pagans and also still united with the Church that came from the Jews. Then Peter went to Rome, the centre of the Empire, the symbol of the “Orbis” – the “Urbs”, which expresses “Orbis”, the earth, where he ended his race at the service of the Gospel with martyrdom.
…This is testified by the most ancient Fathers of the Church, such as, for example, St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, but who came from Asia Minor, who in his treatise Adversus Haereses, describes the Church of Rome as the “greatest and most ancient, known by all… founded and established in Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul”; and he added: “The universal Church, that is, the faithful everywhere, must be in agreement with this Church because of her outstanding superiority” (III, 3, 2-3)….
Tertullian, a little later, said for his part: “How blessed is the Church of Rome, on which the Apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood!” (De Praescriptione Hereticorum, 36).
Consequently, the Chair of the Bishop of Rome represents not only his service to the Roman community but also his mission as guide of the entire People of God.
Celebrating the “Chair” of Peter, therefore, as we are doing today, means attributing a strong spiritual significance to it and recognizing it as a privileged sign of the love of God, the eternal Good Shepherd, who wanted to gather his whole Church and lead her on the path of salvation.
Among the numerous testimonies of the Fathers, I would like to quote St Jerome’s. It is an extract from one of his letters, addressed to the Bishop of Rome. It is especially interesting precisely because it makes an explicit reference to the “Chair” of Peter, presenting it as a safe harbour of truth and peace.
This is what Jerome wrote: “I decided to consult the Chair of Peter, where that faith is found exalted by the lips of an Apostle; I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there, where once I received the garment of Christ. I follow no leader save Christ, so I enter into communion with your beatitude, that is, with the Chair of Peter, for this I know is the rock upon which the Church is built” (cf. Le lettere I, 15, 1-2).
Dear brothers and sisters, in the apse of St Peter’s Basilica, as you know, is the monument to the Chair of the Apostle, a mature work of Bernini. It is in the form of a great bronze throne supported by the statues of four Doctors of the Church: two from the West, St Augustine and St Ambrose and two from the East: St John Chrysostom and St Athanasius.
I invite you to pause before this evocative work which today can be admired, decorated with myriads of candles and to say a special prayer for the ministry that God has entrusted to me. Raise your eyes to the alabaster glass window located directly above the Chair and call upon the Holy Spirit, so that with his enlightenment and power, He will always sustain my daily service to the entire Church. For this, as for your devoted attention, I thank you from my heart.”…………….. Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday, 22 February 2006
Chair of Saint Peter (Feast)
St Ailius of Alexandria
St Angelus Portasole
St Aristion of Salamis
St Athanasius of Nicomedia
St Baradates of Cyrrhus
Bl Diego Carvalho
Bl Émilie d’Oultremont d’Hoogvorst
Bl Isabella of France
St John the Saxon
St Margaret of Cortona
St Maximian of Ravenna
St Miguel Facerías Garcés
St Mohammed Abdalla
St Papias of Heirapolis
St Paschasius of Vienne
St Raynerius of Beaulieu
Martyrs of Arabia – A memorial for all the unnamed Christians martyred in the desert and mountainous areas south of the Dead Sea during the persecutions of Emperor Valerius Maximianus Galerius.